Island All-Stars to play in Museum’s Fourth of July Music Festival

One of Catalina Island’s best-kept secrets is the number of talented musicians living in Avalon.  

The list includes musicians with established reputations like 1960s rock ‘n’ roll legend Spencer Davis of The Spencer Davis Group.  

Malcolm Jones of Blues Image enjoyed a huge hit with the song “Ride, Captain Ride.”

Meanwhile, Roger Connelly of The Blues Merchants has recorded and toured with such greats as Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Taj Mahal and Vince Gill.

One of Catalina Island’s best-kept secrets is the number of talented musicians living in Avalon.  

The list includes musicians with established reputations like 1960s rock ‘n’ roll legend Spencer Davis of The Spencer Davis Group.  

Malcolm Jones of Blues Image enjoyed a huge hit with the song “Ride, Captain Ride.”

Meanwhile, Roger Connelly of The Blues Merchants has recorded and toured with such greats as Buddy Guy, Jonny Lang, Taj Mahal and Vince Gill.

But this only scratches the surface of the Island’s musical talent.

Fortunately, the Catalina Island Museum’s Music Festival on the Fourth of July will highlight an eclectic and diverse line up of local musicians during a full day of food, fireworks, fun, and of course, live music on Casino Point.

One of the five bands featured this year is the Catalina Island All-Stars.

This group consistently features Roger “The Rooster” Connelly and Vern Altieri, playing classic rock ‘n’ roll and soulful blues.

Connelly is a powerful singer/songwriter and guitarist, who has been described as a “one-man wrecking crew with all the technical dexterity and soul of a delta blues virtuoso.”

Connelly and his band The Blues Merchants have been recording and touring for over 15 years.

Altieri has been playing guitar since he first received an Eko acoustic guitar at age 11.

He has played with various groups across the United States and Europe over the years. A driving force in the Island’s music scene, Altieri is presently working to combine heavy blues with the surf sound of the 1960s. Other members of the Catalina Island All-Stars may change from time to time but their level of talent does not. For this year’s Fourth of July Music Festival the All-Stars will include the musical talents of Mike King and Gill Torres.

King has lived on the Island for most of his life.

He played with The Studio 9 Band as a keyboardist and rhythm guitarist from 1985 to 1999.

He switched to bass guitar in 2000, and has worked with various vocalists and several reggae acts. King also performs at various venues on the Island with Altieri as part of the band Island Time.

Torres comes from a family of accomplished musicians and began playing violin at the age of five.

Guitar, drums and piano soon followed.  By the time he was 12, he had already performed at the landmark Hollywood Bowl.

After briefly attending the famed Julliard School of Music, Torres began touring with various acts, opening for artists like Kenny Rogers and George Strait. For the last 15 years, he has been regularly performing at Luau Larry’s.

Torres recently signed with Sony/WEA Records, and his debut album is slated for release in 2014.

“The opportunity for the All-Stars to once again perform at the historic Casino Point in Avalon is truly an honor,” said Connelly. “I’m sure it will be the highlight of the 2013 summer season.” Famed DJ Emperor Rosko—whose life was portrayed in the movie “Pirate Radio”—will emcee the festival.

The Catalina Island All-Stars will be the third act in the festival’s line up, taking the stage at 5:40 p.m. Festival attendees will also experience the sounds of four other bands—Hot Off the Range, IPA, Something and Fighting Chance. Tickets for the Music Festival are selling fast. Tickets are only $10 for members of the museum and $12 for the general public.

Doors open at 1 p.m. with music starting at 2 p.m. It is festival seating, so bring a blanket or lawn chair.

To purchase tickets, call (310) 510-2414, visit the museum in person, visit the Fourth of July event page on www.CatalinaMuseum.org or mail your payment to Catalina Island Museum, PO Box 366, Avalon, CA 90704 (Attn: Fourth of July).

The museum is open seven days a week, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call (310) 510-2414 or visit website CatalinaMuseum.org.

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